MINGORA: An all parties conference was held in Swat on Saturday which pressed the provincial government of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa reopen maktabs in the district and allow thousands of children who have dropped out to continue their education.
At a local hotel in Mingora, Innovative Youth Forum (IYF) Chairman Dr Jawad Iqbal called for an APC to decide the procedure and demanded that the government restore maktabs.
Dr Iqbal, in his address, said that the government’s decision will close down around 93 schools across Swat Valley and leave thousands of students without basic education. “Children were successfully enrolled in primary schools but ever since the government decided to merge maktabs with nearby government-run primary schools, the dropout rate has increased tremendously,” he lamented.
According to Dr Iqbal, the data of the students who have left their studies due to the government’s decision has been gathered.
“Around 4,800 students have been left without schools and the provincial government should realise its erroneous decision and restart these schools,” he said.
He also stated that the people of Swat are willing to support the government if the closure of maktabs was due to financial constraints.
Dr Iqbal exhorted all political leaders in the district to launch a protest, strive hard and force the provincial government to retract its decision.
Earlier this week, the provincial government merged maktabs across the province with primary schools. This decision backfired as hundreds of parents, civil society members and students took to the streets and flayed the government.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 16th, 2015.